Training and career development


We will give you excellent support throughout your career in social work, from earning a qualification to becoming an experienced social worker.



Social work qualifications and placements

There are three routes into social work – university course, postgraduate training and apprenticeship – which all include on-the-job training with social work teams that suits your needs.

1. Approved social work degree

You’ll need a social work degree (BA, BSc, MA, MSc) plus registration from Social Work England.

2. Step up to Social Work postgraduate training programme

The Step Up to Social Work programme allows you to qualify while working on the job. You’ll get intensive, hands-on experience of working in a real-life social work role. On completion, you get a Diploma in Social Work which allows you to register and practice as a social worker.

We can train you in 14 months, with all your course fees paid, and you’ll also receive a bursary for the duration of the course.

Applications closed on Wednesday 7 April 2021. The programme starts in January 2022.

3. Social work degree apprenticeship

This apprenticeship is available for existing children’s social care staff who deliver direct services, and have the potential to take on greater challenges and responsibilities as qualified social workers. For more information, email our Social Work Education Team.



Career development pathways

‘Progress’ is our social work career development pathway. It is underpinned by a comprehensive training and professional development offer.

We have a number of pathways for you to follow, linked to the Knowledge and Skills statements. They give you the freedom to chart your own journey as you progress and grow with us. With the support of your manager you’ll be encouraged to identify development goals that:

  • satisfy your ambition
  • give you the skills to work with our most vulnerable families.


A great training offer

To ensure you’re at the top of your game we appoint the most effective trainers, internally and externally. We embed their teaching through:

  • learning surgeries
  • webinars
  • podcasts
  • practice development sessions
  • lunchtime seminars.

You’ll also have access to our Single Source website. This includes a range of research, resources and toolkits (Neglect, Digital and Communicating with children) to support you in your practice.

To ensure you have the time to improve your learning, you’re encouraged to dedicate at least five days a year to your professional development.

For Newly Qualified Social Workers, we offer specific training for you as part of your Assessed and Supported Year in Employment.



South Coast Regional Centre for Social Work

Our innovative teaching partnership with local universities is called the South Coast Regional Centre for Social Work Education (SCRC).

This provides a defined career pathway for social work practitioners. It also offers staff a valuable opportunity to deliver training at local universities via our Practitioners Who Teach programme.

Crucially, it enables practitioners to be supported by academics while doing action research in response to questions raised through direct practice.



Looking for a new job?

If you’re looking for a new job to progress your career in social work:


See our list of social care vacancies